Simple “Efficiency Hack” to Spot Freelancing Opportunities Faster

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I’m going to share a pretty useful tip on how I speed up the process of finding writing opportunities, but this post should be useful for anyone who frequently checks freelance job boards regardless of the industry you work within.

This strategy also offers the added benefit of often allowing you to be the among the first freelancers to pitch a potential gig.

It’s actually pretty simple… start using RSS.

People tend to think RSS is outdated, but trust me, it’s still outrageously useful. I’m going to show you what I believe to be the best way to use these tools.

Here’s a real-world example. If you check job boards like ProBlogger regularly (or whatever your freelancing industry equivalent is), you probably refresh them every so often throughout the day.

If you’re looking at multiple job boards, this can get pretty cumbersome.

A better way to keep up to date is to use the RSS feeds many of these job boards offer.

Look for something like this:

problogger-rss-example

Copy that link and put it into your RSS reader of choice. I prefer RSSOwl because it’s free, flexible, and gives you a lot of great organization options.

Gather the RSS feeds for your freelance job boards and put them all into a single folder. Here’s how one of mine looks:

example2

The reason this is such a huge time saver is because RSSOwl (and most feed readers) can simultaneously show you all feeds from a specific folder.

Instead of going to your bookmarks and checking each job board one by one, you can see everything in a single, easily browsed location.

RSSOwl can even give you tray notifications — so you’ll know immediately when new offers get posted.

Ok… but what about job boards that don’t offer RSS?

There’s a solution for that too:

Check out this post from freelancer Phil Gyford. He explains how to use the automation tool Zapier to set up an email to RSS feed.

Why is this useful for us?

Because most (if not all) of these job boards will have an option to get updates via email if they don’t have RSS.

Look for something like this:

problogger-rss-example-2

So here’s what you’d do:

  • Set up a new email address within Zapier
  • Use that address to sign up for email alerts from your preferred job boards
  • “Zap” the messages to an RSS feed.
  • Add the RSS feed to your folder in RSSOwl.

Now you can see all job posts in one area and get notifications in (near) real-time.

This is a really powerful technique once you start getting creative with it.

For example, I use PRWeb to find local companies/individuals to cold pitch. PRWeb offers RSS feeds by region:

prweb-rss-example

Learn more about client acquisition through press releases here.

Also, did you know that you get set up an RSS feed for Google Alerts?

Do you see how useful this is?

Hope this helps someone save a little time and land some new clients.

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